A failed multi-million dollar transit experiment in Cedar Rapids is now sitting in a scrap yard. Ten years ago, the city of Cedar Rapids purchased nine electric buses for nearly $3 million. But, the battery powered vehicles didn’t run far without dying in the cold weather. Last week, the city sold the buses at auction for $30,000.
C.J. Bacon placed the winning bid. “It is kind of weird, a penny on the dollar. I’d like to buy stuff that way all day,” Bacon said. Bacon, and his son Charles, run a salvage operation in Hopkinton. They originally planned to tear the buses apart for scrap and spare parts, but have recently heard from people who may want to purchase the vehicles and see if they can get them running again.
“If we can’t find a buyer, they’ll be scrapped,” Charles Bacon said. The money for the electric bus program came from federal and utility company grants. Some of the buses have just 6,000 miles on the odometer.